Sen. John McCain wins Florida and all 57 of its delegates – well, congratulations then.
When it comes to the electability question, donâ€™t focus on horserace numbers. Focus on the fundamentals. After weeks of fawning coverage, and weeks of seeing the press swooning for Obama and beating down Clinton, John McCain is no better than tied against Hillary. When it was last Clinton vs. McCain as the frontrunners, he ran worse than Giuliani and was seen as less dynamic. I expect that with either Romney or McCain, the race would settle into a 3-6 point Clinton lead in the near term, though it would tighten in the fall as voters focused away from Bush and on the choice between the two candidates. Politics is rarely as static as the early polls show, as this nomination fight proves in living color. Remember that Bush 41 wasnâ€™t given much of a shot at this point in the â€˜88 cycle and Gore was consistently behind by double digits and came within 537 votes.
As for Huck?: “We’re playing all 9 innings of this ball game.” Holding out to be McCain’s Veep. Thank you, evangelical identity politics.
Yes, Romney’s campaign is still alive, but Mr. Hewitt’s scenario is a little bit of rose-colored optimism, methinks. (But go back and re-read Ruffini, if you need to.)
So I have no trouble admitting I was wrong. The moral? Campaigns should pay me not to pick them to win anything.
I’m starting today by predicting Sen. John McCain to sweep Super Tuesday and ride free and clear to the GOP presidential nomination. There … a little hex, a little jinx can’t hurt.
But I do agree with Ruffini on his final point, too:
None of this is to diminish John McCain as a true patriot. No matter who wins, we must quickly get behind the winner (Iâ€™ll have more on this tomorrow). I would gladly support McCain over Hillary because he is right on the transcendent issue of our time. But Romney would do everything that McCain would on the war, and he would be vastly more conservative on everything else.
Does this make sense to anyone else? Or have too many conservatives in the Party gone mad? Time will tell. Maybe Hewitt is right, maybe conservatives can quickly close ranks around Romney. But I’m not quite so hopeful.